Sarah Kesty is many things – a special education teacher, an animal rescue volunteer, an artist and a funny, goofy outgoing young woman. Kesty knows that everyone has something that is challenging, scary or confusing for them, and she is helping children understand and deal with theirs.
When some people look at a pit bull, they immediately assume the dog will be mean; the pit bull’s “something” is the skin he was born in. He may be yelled at or even hurt because of that assumption, which in turn could cause him to growl when approached. See? Pit bulls are mean.
A woman whose “something” is spatial relationships looks at a street map and sees nothing that makes sense. She can’t tell north from south, and cries when she gets lost even in familiar places. People think she just isn’t trying and her whole life shrinks down to the 5-mile radius of her house.
A boy with dyslexia has difficulty reading aloud, and is teased and called “stupid” when he has to do it in school. His something makes him feels angry; he starts to hate school and books and decides the others must be right about him.
Sarah Kesty realized how much of an impact those feeling are to the personal, emotional and academic development of her students and to adults as well. The way a person reacts or acts out because of his or her something becomes the focus, and the root of the problems may never be addressed.
Instead of letting their something define them, Kesty helps students view their challenges “like speed bumps that can be gotten over”.
“I tell them it is okay to have feelings and to get mad” says Kesty, “but slow down, take a minute and then we’ll find a way to deal with it”.
The positive impact on her students has been tremendous and Kesty realized that others could benefit from the approach. She has written a book for eight to twelve year olds called “Everyone Has Something” and wants to self-publish the book for use by schools and parents.
Kesty is using Kickstarter.com, a fundraising platform, to raise the $9,300 needed to publish the book; supporters can pledge to make a donation of $1 or more.
If $9,300 is pledged by March 16, the publishing project will be funded and the pledged donations will be collected. No pledged amounts will be collected or used for publishing unless the total amount is reached.
Kesty is also selling silicone “Everyone Has Something” wristband bracelets for $5 to raise funds for publishing; these can also be included as thank-you gifts to certain levels of donors on Kickstarter.
To purchase bracelets or to request more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporter and rescue volunteer RuEtta Gray says that while major pledges are great, even small ones make a difference. “If you can skip one run to Starbucks, pledge it. If there is loose change under the cushions of your sofa or car seat – pledge it. If you have $10, $100 or more for something you believe in – pledge it”, Gray suggests.
Do you have a “something”? If so, feel free to add a comment below.